Sexual arousal to erotic and aggressive stimuli in sexually coercive and noncoercive men

J Abnorm Psychol. 1997 May;106(2):230-42. doi: 10.1037//0021-843x.106.2.230.


Sexual arousal to erotic stimuli depicting various levels of force were examined among college men. Study 1 used phallometric indices to measure penile circumferential change during combined audio-tape and slide presentations varying in degree of force. The results indicated that the sexually coercive group exhibited more penile tumescence than controls to scenes involving verbal pressure and verbal threats. Analyses across time blocks suggested that control participants inhibited sexual arousal with the introduction of force cues but that the sexually coercive group did not. Study 2 was a replication of Study 1 without slides. Both groups showed increases in penile tumescence in response to the consent scenario. Only the sexually coercive men demonstrated significant tumescence in response to force scenarios. The results indicated that the sexually coercive males had a lower threshold for arousal to sexual cues and did not inhibit sexual arousal when force cues were introduced.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Coercion*
  • Erotica
  • Humans
  • Libido*
  • Male
  • Penile Erection / psychology
  • Personality Inventory
  • Rape / psychology
  • Students / psychology